How to Look for Leaks on an RV's Propane Tank Fittings

How to Look for Leaks on an RV's Propane Tank Fittings
Faulty or loose fittings on an RV propane tank can cause leaks. Propane leaks are dangerous because propane gas is flammable. Check the fittings for leaks after taking the RV out of storage, after the tank has been removed for filling or whenever a leak is suspected. Two ways to check for propane leaks are to use an RV gas leak detector fluid or an electronic RV propane gas leak detector.

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

RV Gas Leak Detector Fluid

Things You’ll Need:
  • RV gas leak detector fluid or liquid dish soap and water
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Small paintbrush
  • Electronic RV propane gas leak detector
Step 1
Purchase an RV gas leak detector fluid from an RV supply store or make your own. To make your own, mix 1 tbsp. of liquid dish soap with 5 tbsp. of water in a small bowl. Stir the mixture slowly with a spoon to combine the soap and water, without creating bubbles.
Step 2
Turn the valve on the propane tank to the "open" position.
Step 3
Paint the gas leak detector (the store-bought or your own) on and around all of the propane tank fittings, using a small paintbrush.
Step 4
Watch the tank fittings for a few minutes to see if any soap bubbles appear. If you see any bubbles, you have a leak. Immediately turn the propane tank valve to the "off" position.
Step 5
Tighten the propane tank fittings and recheck for a leak, using the above directions. If a leak is detected again, have the tank and fittings looked at by a propane or RV repairperson.

Electronic RV Propane Gas Leak Detector

Step 1
Purchase an electronic RV propane gas leak detector from an RV supply store.
Step 2
Turn the valve on the propane tank to the "open" position.
Step 3
Read the electronic leak detector's instruction manual for specific directions for the model you purchased. Generally, to use electronic propane gas leak detectors, hold the device 1/4 inch away from the fitting and wait for an audible alarm to sound, which alerts that a gas leak is present. If a leak is detected, immediately turn the propane tank valve to the "off" position.
Step 4
Tighten the propane tank fittings and recheck for a leak, using the above directions. If a leak is detected again, have the tank and fittings looked at by a propane or RV repairperson.

Tips & Warnings

 
Propane gas is a flammable substance. Read your RV owner's manual carefully to learn how to work your propane tank system, including the proper way to tighten the fittings. If you do not have a thorough understanding of how to work the propane system, have a propane or RV repairperson assist you.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

Never Miss a Single Post

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.